Courtney Dickson, Roving Editor Ω
For those who made a new year resolution to quit smoking or end tobacco use, the Great Canadian Smoke Out could be a venture worthwhile.
The Tobacco Education Strategies Clinic will have a table set up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 29 in the Campus Activity Centre and Jan. 31 in the Trades Building where students, faculty and staff can access information about the smoke-out, which will run from Feb. 1 to April 12.
Throughout the smoke-out, participants will attend check-up appointments every three to four weeks. At the first appointment, which will last just more than one hour, they will have their vital signs checked and the clinic will get their health history. Students will explain in detail what triggers cravings and what motivates them to quit. After that, appointments will consist of counselling and brainstorming ways to continue staying away from tobacco. Participants will be asked to provide the clinic with contact information of a close friend or family member so they can confirm the student has been faithful to their commitment to quit tobacco use.
Connie Zhang, first-year bachelor of business administration, can often be found in front of Old Main lighting up a cigarette. As a chronic smoker who has tried to quit before, she is considering joining the smoke-out.
“It helps that you can win prizes if you‘re successful,” Zhang said.
Not only are smokers and tobacco users encouraged to join the two and a half month challenge, but those who have never used tobacco in their lives are also able to participate. Students, faculty and staff who are non-tobacco users will commit to not starting tobacco use and passing on information about tobacco use. They will also be entered to win prizes.
Last year, students interested in joining the program were asked to attend lectures by guest speakers about the negative effects of tobacco use. 30 people attended those sessions and the number dwindled as the challenge progressed.
Stephanie Drysdale, second-year respiratory therapy and one of the eight students working with the Tobacco Education Strategies Clinic, is hopeful that students, faculty and staff will take advantage of the smoke-out.
“Last year didn’t go as well as we planned. As a student, I wouldn’t be interested in going to a lecture,” Drysdale said, “[Students] want to be more engaged.”
This year, experiments and trivia games will be the focus at the information tables. There will even be a mascot.
The clinic plans to use social media to update followers on the progress of the smoke-out participants.
The Tobacco Education Strategies Clinic can be found at TRU Tobacco Education Clinic on Facebook or @TRURespTherapy on Twitter, or contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Great Canadian Smoke Out.